New Protected Marine Area -- Largest in the World

Ottawa, Canada (GLOBE-Net) - The freshwater marine protected area being set up off the northern shores of Lake Superior announced last week by Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be the largest fresh water conservation area in the world.

The national marine conservation area will encompass more than 10,000 sq. km (3,900 sq. miles) of Lake Superior, and will include lake bed, islands and northern shore lands. The proposed boundaries of the Lake Superior NMCA extend from Thunder Cape at the tip of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park in the west, to Bottle Point just east of Terrace Bay, and south to the Canada-U.S. boundary.

The area seeks to balance environmental protection with preserving the livelihood of local residents who work in marine industries such as commercial and sport fishing and shipping.

“Our government is taking action to preserve and protect Canada’s environment, including Lake Superior’s north shore, for future generations of Canadians to enjoy,” said the Prime Minister. “The creation of this area will benefit the local economy too, by boosting tourism and creating jobs.”

National marine conservation areas are part of Parks Canada’s growing number of national heritage sites. They balance environmental protection with responsible economic activity by protecting key elements of the ecosystem while preserving the livelihoods of local residents who work in marine industries such as commercial fishing, sport fishing and shipping.

The announcement was the culmination of a decade of planning and negotiations involving the federal, Ontario and local governments as well as First Nations in the region. Among the groups and individuals who supported the project were His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh; and from former Prime Minister John Turner, both acting for the World Wildlife Fund, as well as former Canadian astronaut Roberta Bondar, who is one of Ontario’s Champions of the Great Lakes Heritage Coasts.

“Establishing a national marine conservation area in Lake Superior will build on the extensive work Ontario has already done to protect the cultural, recreational, and natural values of the lake’s islands and shoreline,” said Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. “Future generations will benefit from what we have accomplished today through this constructive collaboration among three levels of government, First Nations, stakeholders and community members.”

See also Companion Document:
National Marine Conservation Area in Lake Superior - Backgrounder

For More Information: Government of Canada

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